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    Why we love the North York Moors

    Rugged yet beautiful, wild yet welcoming – the North York Moors National Park is full of surprises. It is home to England’s largest heather moorland, a rare landscape that blooms purple in summer and is criss-crossed with hiking and cycling routes, while the coast is famous for its wide sandy beaches, quaint harbour villages and thrilling surf breaks.

    The national park sits to the north of York, and is easily accessible from the city on day trips. But you won’t want to scrimp on time, because there’s so much to do: go whale-watching from Staithes, join a stargazing festival, kayak the River Esk, explore the haunting abbeys of Rievaulx and Whitby – and much more.

    From countryside to coast, here’s how to squeeze maximum adventure into your North York Moors holiday.

    Things to do in North York Moors

    The looming ruins of Whitby Abbey inspired Bram Stoker to write his classic novel Dracula – and they’re just as atmospheric today.

    Explore wonderful Whitby
    Two people on the steps of a hillside looking towards the pier
    Whitby

    With its dark tales of smugglers and sailors, there’s more to this pretty fishing village than first meets the eye.

    Plan your trip to Robin Hood’s Bay
    View down a quaint street on a winter's morning
    Robin Hood’s Bay

    Travel back in time on a steam-powered train – between the market town of Pickering, and Whitby on the coast.

    Hop on the North York Moors Railway
    Steam train on train tracks and old-fashioned carriages at Goathland Railway Station
    North York Moors Railway

    Standing tall in a picturesque valley, the ruins of this ancient Cistercian monastery will take your breath away.

    Discover Rievaulx Abbey
    Two people walking between outdoor stone pillars
    Rievaulx Abbey

    This spine-tingling tour brings Dracula’s chilling backstory to life, featuring special effects, animations and actors.

    Book your Dracula Experience
    Dracula Experience
    Dracula Experience

    The looming ruins of Whitby Abbey inspired Bram Stoker to write his classic novel Dracula – and they’re just as atmospheric today.

    Explore wonderful Whitby
    Two people on the steps of a hillside looking towards the pier
    Whitby

    With its dark tales of smugglers and sailors, there’s more to this pretty fishing village than first meets the eye.

    Plan your trip to Robin Hood’s Bay
    View down a quaint street on a winter's morning
    Robin Hood’s Bay

    Travel back in time on a steam-powered train – between the market town of Pickering, and Whitby on the coast.

    Hop on the North York Moors Railway
    Steam train on train tracks and old-fashioned carriages at Goathland Railway Station
    North York Moors Railway

    Standing tall in a picturesque valley, the ruins of this ancient Cistercian monastery will take your breath away.

    Discover Rievaulx Abbey
    Two people walking between outdoor stone pillars
    Rievaulx Abbey

    This spine-tingling tour brings Dracula’s chilling backstory to life, featuring special effects, animations and actors.

    Book your Dracula Experience
    Dracula Experience
    Dracula Experience

    Places to stay in North York Moors

    Glamping gems

    For a wild night, check out the national park’s quirky glamping sites – where you can bed down in safari tents, luxury yurts, woodland pods and more.

    Boutique B&Bs

    A great B&B offers stylish bedrooms and fantastic breakfasts, with a truly local welcome. Don’t forget to ask your hosts for their nearby travel tips.

    Holiday rentals

    From huge country houses with hot tubs and games rooms, to romantic seaside cottages made for two – what’s your self-catering holiday style?

    Explore nearby

    Small and mighty – York is the medieval walled city that really packs a punch.

    Woman wearing trench coat and pink hat walking

    A hotbed for shopping and the arts, you’ll find lots to explore in Leeds.

    The Victorian formal gardens with statues and low hedges in front of Harewood House

    World-class football and a music scene that brought Oasis to centre stage – there’s lots to love about Manchester.

    Group of friends walking by the canal in Castlefield

    Linked by no fewer than seven bridges, it's one vibrant place to visit.

    Couple kayaking on a river under blue skies

    Getting to North York Moors

    If you’re arriving by rail, the stations at York, Leeds and Middlesbrough are the national park’s closest major hubs, and trains from London King’s Cross to York take around two hours. Manchester Airport is a two-hour drive from Helmsley, while the journey from Leeds Airport is one hour – putting the North York Moors within easy reach of destinations all over the world.

    Getting around

    You don’t need a car to get around: public transport options are plentiful, and the Esk Valley Railway runs right through the national park between Middlesbrough and Whitby, and links up with great walks, attractions and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Meanwhile, the likes of Moorsbus and Moors Explorer operate buses throughout summer and peak weekends.

    By steam train

    With its puffing steam trains and beautiful countryside views, the 24-mile (38km) North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a charming way to travel through the national park.

    By e-bike

    Putting extra power in your pedalling, an e-bike takes the strain out of cycling – so you can travel further, for longer. Most hire companies deliver bikes to local hotels.

    By bus

    Voted one of Britain’s most spectacular bus routes, the 840 Coastliner runs from Leeds to Whitby – and is just one of the many bus services that run all over the region.

    Want to know more?

    For outdoor adventures, expert travel tips and all the best places to stay, check out the national park’s official website.